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To do a job well you need the right tools. For years, Carefor has been providing client care in homes and the community using two client management systems: Goldcare and CIMS. Starting on March 4th, our Homecare staff will be the first at Carefor to adopt a new system: Alayacare, which will eventually be used by all staff across Carefor. The project is a massive undertaking which will involve all staff and will eventually impact the care of all our clients, for the better.

Alayacare is the industry leading Home Care and Community Support Services client management system which offers more features that integrate more seamlessly. The result is a better care experience for clients and caregivers and a better user experience for staff.

For our staff, Alayacare means less time reporting and more time caring. Its interface is more user-friendly and better captures client care provided within the electronic health record. As it’s more robust, staff can do more with it, meaning they can stay in the system to do everything they require rather than moving between different record keeping tools, which is more time-consuming. It also allows them to better communicate between staff about client care needs, which means when a new staff provides client care, they have all the information they need to give the best care.

And better care is better for our clients. Additionally, Alayacare allows us to connect clients with staff more easily which results in clients being more likely to have the same Carefor staff resulting in more consistent care. Eventually, as the system gets rolled out across Carefor, clients who use multiple Carefor services, such as Personal Support Services and Transportation, will see improvements in their care as their personal health information is consistent across the programs which support them.

As mentioned, our Go-Live date will be March 4th for all of our Home and Clinical Care services, including Nursing, Personal Support Services, and Rehabilitation Services, with other programs such as Community Support Services and Residential Services adopting Alayacare later in 2024. As this is a new system for our staff, training is taking place right now so that they’ll be ready to go on the 4th.

As with all change, there’s a learning curve and we hope that our clients and their caregivers will appreciate the time and effort that is required for all involved to learn and use this new system. With a little patience, we’re sure that they’ll see improvements in their care very soon.

The adoption of Alayacare is a key component of our Project OneCare which is realigning Carefor across service lines rather than regionally, as was our previous model. Under this model, Home and Clinical Care, Community Services and our Residential programs will work together, respectively, to learn from one another to create better services while making for a more efficient organization.

Carefor is committed to improving and modernizing to provide the best care possible, and Alayacare is a major step forward for both. We’re very excited to bring it to our clients, caregivers and community! If you would like to know more about how Alayacare will affect your care, please contact us at info@carefor.ca

As seniors in Ontario embark on their retirement journey, understanding the intricacies of the tax system becomes paramount for financial well-being. Here are some essential tax tips tailored to seniors living in the province:

Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant:

Ontario seniors who own a home may be eligible for the Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant. This grant provides financial assistance to help offset property taxes, offering relief for those facing the challenges of fixed incomes.

Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit:

Seniors in Ontario investing in home modifications for health and safety reasons may qualify for the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit. This credit covers a portion of eligible expenses for renovations, making homes more accessible for aging residents.

Ontario Trillium Benefit:

The Ontario Trillium Benefit combines three tax credits into one payment, providing financial assistance to eligible seniors. This benefit includes the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, and the Ontario Sales Tax Credit.

Pension Income Tax Credit:

Seniors receiving eligible pension income in Ontario can benefit from the Pension Income Tax Credit. This credit allows for a reduction in taxable income, providing relief for retirees relying on pension funds.

Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit:

For seniors who frequently use public transit, the Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit offers a non-refundable tax credit for eligible transit expenses. This can be particularly beneficial for those who rely on public transportation to maintain their independence.

Ontario Seniors’ Education Property Tax Grant:

Seniors in Ontario may also qualify for the Seniors’ Education Property Tax Grant. This grant provides financial assistance to eligible seniors who own a home and are responsible for property taxes, helping them manage their housing costs more effectively.

Disability Tax Credit:

Ontario seniors with disabilities may be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, providing financial support to those facing additional costs associated with their health condition.

Estate Planning:

Considering the tax implications of estate planning is essential for seniors. A well-thought-out estate plan can help minimize taxes on assets and ensure a smooth transfer of wealth to beneficiaries. Additionally, people can save some of the tax burden on their estate by including a gift in their Will to a charity.

Ontario seniors can enhance their financial well-being by leveraging the various tax credits and benefits available to them. However, it’s crucial to stay informed about changes in tax laws and consult with a tax professional to tailor these strategies to individual circumstances. By taking advantage of these tax tips, seniors can navigate the Ontario tax landscape with confidence, ensuring a more secure and enjoyable retirement.

Age is no barrier to romance, and seniors can infuse their lives with passion and connection just as much as any other age group. Here are some heartwarming ways for seniors to keep the flame of romance alive:

Explore Shared Hobbies:

Engage in activities that both partners enjoy. Whether it’s dancing, painting, gardening, or learning something new together, shared hobbies can strengthen the bond and bring joy to the relationship.

Romantic Dates:

Plan special dates that celebrate the love you share. It could be a cozy dinner at a favorite restaurant, a picnic in the park, or a scenic drive. The key is to create moments that foster connection and intimacy.

Reignite the Spark with Memories:

Reflect on cherished memories together by revisiting the place where you first met or looking through old photo albums. Nostalgia can evoke strong emotions and remind you of the journey you’ve shared.

Spontaneity and Surprise:

Surprise your partner with unexpected gestures, whether it’s a handwritten love note, a spontaneous day trip, or a surprise dinner. Small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can go a long way in keeping the romance alive.

Communication is Key:

Open and honest communication is crucial. Take the time to express your feelings, desires, and dreams. Listening to each other fosters a deeper connection and ensures that both partners feel heard and understood.

Physical Touch:

Physical intimacy remains an important aspect of a romantic relationship. Holding hands, hugging, and kissing are simple yet powerful ways to express love and maintain a strong emotional connection.

Plan a Second Honeymoon:

Consider taking a trip together to rekindle the romance. It doesn’t have to be extravagant; even a weekend getaway can provide an opportunity to relax, unwind, and enjoy each other’s company.

Attend Relationship Workshops or Counseling:

Participating in relationship workshops or counseling can offer valuable insights into maintaining a healthy and fulfilling connection. Learning new communication techniques and relationship skills can enhance your bond.

Stay Active Together:

Engaging in physical activities together, such as walking, dancing, or exercising, not only contributes to your well-being but also fosters a sense of togetherness.

Embrace Technology:

Use technology to stay connected, especially if physical distance separates you from your loved one. Video calls, emails, and social media can bridge the gap and keep the lines of communication open.

And while there is no guarantee of romance, Carefor’s two retirement homes in Pembroke are great places to build your social connections. There’s always something going on at Carefor Civic Complex and Mackay Centre that bring people together, from bingo to trivia to arts and crafts, there are dozens of ways to meet and connect with friends.

Keeping the romance alive for seniors involves a combination of shared experiences, open communication, and genuine expressions of love. By embracing these tips, seniors can continue to nurture their relationships, creating a fulfilling and enduring connection that stands the test of time.

With warmer temperatures creeping in, the natural urge is to spend more time outdoors enjoying it. Everyone wants to feel the sun on their face, tend to their gardens, go for walks, and have those sweet summer moments. While being outdoors and spending time in the warmth and fresh air is good, there are some things that should be considered for seniors spending continual time in warm summer weather. Listed below are some tips and precautions for staying safe while enjoying the summer sun and warmth.

Optimal Time of Day: The best times of the day to be outside are those when the sun will not be shining down directly onto you. For example, if you plan to have an outdoor activity, have it be in the morning, or evening times.

Taking Breaks to Cool Off: If you plan to spend as much of your day outdoors as possible, make sure you have an air-conditioned area close by that you can pop into for breaks to bring your body temperature back down. This will prevent over-heating, dehydration, and exhaustion.

Stay Hydrated: It’s important to remember to stay hydrated if you’re spending prolonged time in the heat. Drinking things like water, clear juices, and other liquids that do not contain alcohol or caffeine. Liquids with caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, they will cause you to urinate more and dehydrate you. For this reason, it is crucial to stick to clear liquids without these contents when spending time in the heat.

Choosing the Proper Attire:  When spending time in the heat, it is important to dress accordingly. This means wearing light, airy, light-colored clothing. This will prevent heat absorption. In addition to this, it is best to wear a wide brimmed hat to shield yourself from the sunrays.

By combining these tips, you will be prepared to safely spend time in the summer sun. Just remember, if after spending prolonged periods of time in the sun and/or summer heat, you feel unwell, please seek medical attention.

As we grow older, maintaining a healthy mind is just as important as maintaining a healthy body. With Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month upon us, there’s no better time to explore the different ways we can keep our cognitive health in check. Aging may bring about a number of changes, but with the right tools and mindset, we can ensure a healthy aging process and prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In this blog, we’ll discuss five simple ways to boost your cognitive health and promote healthy aging and Alzheimer’s prevention.

Control Your Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Levels

High cholesterol and high blood pressure increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, which can contribute to the development of memory loss, or even different types of dementia. Good cardiovascular health (healthy blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure levels) as well as maintaining a healthy weight is associated with increased cognitive function. This is a key factor in Alzheimer’s prevention.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The things you put into your body make a big difference in your cognitive and remembering abilities. Vitamin-rich foods will maintain and improve cognitive function, while foods that are high in saturated fats can negatively impact memory and other brain function. Following diets such as the MIND (Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) Diet could maximize the positive effects on brain function, and in turn, prevent Alzheimer’s. This diet includes foods from 10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine. It also limits five unhealthy food groups: red meats, butter, cheese, pastries, sweets, fast and fried foods.

Get Regular Exercise

Through regular physical activity, blood flow to the brain is maintained, and in turn, reduces your risk of conditions such as high blood pressure which is associated with developing dementia. By promoting a physically active lifestyle in older adults, one-third of dementia cases worldwide could potentially be delayed. For this reason, it is important to continue an active lifestyle throughout your life, and into the years when dementia is a possibility.

Stimulate Your Mind

Keeping your mind busy through a mentally stimulating job or hobby could help your brain to build up a cognitive reserve; meaning that even if you develop a brain disease or other challenges, your brain will still have the ability to function properly. Another way to stimulate your mind is by consistently learning new things and teaching yourself new skills and hobbies. Continuing to adopt new skills and technologies has the potential to reduce or delay the cognitive decline and changes that come with aging.

Socialize More

Staying in touch with, and actively engaging and seeing friends and family has positive impacts on the brain. The stimulation that comes with discussing life and seeing people outside of your immediate circle is beneficial to delaying cognitive decline. Seniors who experience consistent social engagement will have a lower risk of dementia than those with consistently low social engagement.

Carefor offers various programs and services that can assist your loved ones in all the above categories, especially with exercise, socialization, and brain stimulation. Some of these programs include the Adult Day Programs, the Vince Malette Functional Fitness Program, and the Let’s Get Together Program to name a few. To learn more about our programs visit https://carefor.ca/services/respite-services.

These healthy aging tips do not definitively guarantee that by following these guidelines, you will not develop Alzheimer’s. However, if you implement these practices into your daily lives, the chances of Alzheimer’s progression is much slimmer.

Caregiving can have its pros and its cons. On the positive side, you are caring for someone you love, and assisting them to navigate a challenging chapter of their life. On the negative side, you may become so consumed in being a caregiver that you forget to take care of yourself, and in turn, burn yourself out. For this reason, it is important to consider ways to combat and prevent caregiver burnout.

5 ways to prevent caregiver burnout:

Take advantage of local and online supports. There are numerous programs and services in the community and online (through social media) that can help you. Here are just a few:  

Know your limits. Identify what makes you feel uncomfortable or distressed – these feelings are often an indicator that we are pushing our boundaries. If you continue to overextend and overcompensate, it can lead to burn out, which is worse than just having a conversation to set clear boundaries.

Set realistic goals and accept that you may need to reach out to others for assistance. There is nothing wrong with seeking help where it’s needed. One person cannot do everything alone. If you feel that the care load is becoming too much, it could be a wise idea to consider things like home care, or a visiting companion. Carefor has many services to support you with your caregiving journey in home and in the community.

Stay healthy by eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep.

Join a caregiver support group, either in person or online.

By implementing these 5 tips into your life as a caregiver, you’re taking necessary steps for yourself to avoid burning out from your caregiving role.

Your feet carry you where you want to go in the journey of life. For this reason, it is important to keep them clean, healthy, and taken care of. Keeping an eye on your feet is crucial, especially with seniors as it your foot health can give you early warnings of serious health concerns such as diabetes, arthritis, and poor blood circulation.

Signs of unhealthy feet may include, and are not limited to…

  • Dryness and Cracking: which can lead to skin infections, as well as corns and calluses.
  • Constantly Cold Feet and Toes: circulatory problems, potentially caused by diabetes.
  • Swelling: infection, neuropathic arthropathy, deep vein thrombosis, and arthritis.
  • Thick and Discoloured Toenails: nail fugus, injury, and anemia.

Let us help you keep them healthy along the way! Carefor’s foot care clinics are now accepting new clients across Ottawa! There is one location in the East end, and one in the West end.

Our specially trained foot care nurses provide personal foot care including…

  • Comprehensive Foot Assessment.
  • Cutting and filing of toenails.
  • Treatment of ingrown nails, thickened nails.
  • Paddings as necessary to improve comfort and mobility.
  • Preventative foot care for high-risk clients with diabetes, arthritis, and circulation problems.
  • Referral to doctors, podiatrists, chiropodists, or other health professionals as necessary.
  • Health teaching.

With foot health, being proactive is essential. This is why we encourage seniors to seek out foot health, and visit Carefor’s foot care clinics, to ensure ultimate safety and health.

 

Locations:

West End Clinic 2580 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K2B 7H5

East End Clinic 760 Belfast Rd, Ottawa, ON K1G 6M8

 

Contact to schedule an appointment:

Clerical District Coordinator

833-922-2734 ext. 2158

clerical@carefor.ca

carefor.ca

The process involving the transition to retirement living has its complexities. There are multiple variables that require in-depth consideration. To make things a little simpler, here are three key points to pay attention to when considering different retirement home options.

  1. Location: Whether you are choosing a retirement home for yourself or a loved one, location is a very important thing to consider. Transitioning into retirement living can be a challenging time, however choosing a home in an area that is familiar or close to family and friends can help to bring ease to the situation.
  2. Costs and what they mean: Cost is one of the most important factors to investigate when choosing a retirement home. When discussing costs and various packages, it is a smart idea to review exactly what is covered in the outlined costs. Ask what is not included in the cost and what services may have additional fees. Once the cost break-down is clear, compare it to your monthly “living at home” expenses to properly formulate the decision if the home is a responsible choice financially.
  3. Recreation and Socialization: When moving a senior out of their home and into a new environment, it can be natural for them to withdraw and isolate as they may not feel comfortable around new people. Choosing a home with various activity and recreation options that align with your/ your loved one’s hobbies and interests can help encourage socialization and in turn keep you or your loved one from becoming lonely and isolated.

Carefor has three retirement/care homes in the Ottawa region that are in great locations, prioritize affordability and value the importance of recreational activities in the home. The Carefor Civic Complex and MacKay Centre are situated in the heart of Pembroke and the Ottawa Valley. These retirement homes have all the amenities of home with paved walkways, a courtyard, and flower/vegetable gardens at the most affordable prices in the Ottawa Valley.

Richmond Care Home is a unique retirement home for women living with dementia. It is a bungalow style 16-unit home that offers a quiet home-like setting where your mom will get the care and attention she deserves. All around, Carefor has your loved one’s best interests at heart and will ensure they feel at home. To learn more visit: carefor.ca/retirement.

As an organization that has been providing home care services to people in Eastern Ontario for over 125 years, the idea of “aging in place” is nothing new to Carefor. But recently the idea has become more popular with older adults with many of them planning their retirement around living in their homes for as long as possible. In so doing seniors are ensuring that they are surrounded by friends and family, and that their homes can withstand the changes needed to adjust to the needs that come with aging. In this month’s blog, we give tips and useful things to look out for when it comes to aging in place, and a thought as to when it might no longer be the best option.

Decision Time… where do you want to live?

When it comes to deciding where to spend the later years of your life there are many things to consider to ensure you can do so comfortably. With comfort in mind it is important to search for homes located close to public transit, emergency services, and/or close to family or relatives. Keeping the latter in mind, studies have shown that it is important to remain close to those with whom we hold social connections, be it, family members, or other adult friends. While moving closer to children or other supportive relatives may be a priority it may be beneficial to join clubs or visit senior centers to continue to build new relationships if the home you decide to age in is away from your current social circle.

Nest in your home

It’s important to make the adjustments needed to enjoy your home as long as possible. Much like a bird collecting twigs and bits of string, it is important to find and discover the things that will make your home livable as you age. These items may include many things such as

  • The ability to install ramps to enter your home.
  • Widening doorways to increase accessibility.
  • Creating a bedroom/living space on the main floor of your home.
  • Removing area rugs or other unneeded furniture.

While these items are all physical you may want to investigate technological improvements such as updated alarm systems, stair lifts, and elevators as well as inexpensive upgrades such as voice-activated devices that control your home’s climate, make phone calls, and set daily reminders.

With A little Help, Anything is Possible

Sometimes being able age in place requires some help from the outside. Throughout your community are services which can support you in being able to continue to live in your home. In the Ottawa Valley, Carefor offers meal delivery, non-urgent medical transportation and friendly visiting to name a few, which help older people continue to get that extra help should they have no other support.

While for many people aging in place is preferred, for some it’s either no longer an option nor the best one. Some might be unable to ensure their health at home or feel the effects of prolonged isolation. Retirement homes are obviously numerous in every community, but for those who might be continuing to live at home due to the cost of many retirement homes, the two retirement homes Carefor operates in the Ottawa Valley, Carefor Civic Complex and Carefor Mackay Centre are excellent options. Being the most affordable retirement homes in the Ottawa Valley with all-inclusive pricing makes Civic and Mackay excellent options for someone no longer able to age in place.

Managing one’s stress can often be a struggle and it can have a large impact on one’s overall health. It is a great idea for seniors to develop ways to reduce stress in their lives.

Stress is caused by facing the day-to-day challenges we all face in life. This can be anything from getting to an appointment on time, finding ways to see grandchildren and other family members, remembering to take your medication, and or feeling unsafe in one’s home while living alone.

It is important to realize the signs of stress in your life and find ways to cope and ease those stresses. Stress can result in the feeling of being anxious, depression, loss of sleep, and forgetfulness. Here are some ways to reduce stress.

Melt away that Stress.

Get Creative: Finding ways to celebrate and use your creativity is a great way to reduce your stress. Whether it is completing a puzzle, painting, drawing, journaling, or listening to music while you clean the house or enjoy time in the sun. These are all great ways to relax and reduce stress.

Gather and Meet New People: Being social whether it is connecting with old friends and family or meeting new people at local senior clubs or community activities is a great way to reduce the feeling of being isolated and alone leaving one to feel safe secure and less stressed.

Exercise: Finding ways to become more active in any compacity will often result in a feeling of confidence and reduce feelings of depression and stress. Exercise that helps reduce stress can include walking outdoors, playing with the grandchildren, yoga, meditation, or swimming.

Stress can sometimes seem unavoidable but there are many resources to help reduce stress.

We, at Carefor, offer a diverse range of services whether you are living in your home a need a helping hand or looking for retirement living options at Carefor Civic Complex or Mackay Centre.

Residents at Carefor retirement homes are given a place to call homes via many programs and services. Living at Carefor provides our residents with the security of knowing help is there when they need it be it helping with cleaning, laundry, and medication administration. While living at Carefor seniors are also provided with three nutritious meals a day, and an extensive variety of entertainment and activities all of which help foster a sense of community and social connection between residents and Carefor team members. All of which help provide local vulnerable seniors a place to call home and relieve the stress of seniors and their family members. If you’re interested in reducing some of your stress, give us a call: 613-732-9993